Choosing Cloth

The bottom of our baby shower invite read: Cloth Diapers Desired. 

It freaked my family out.  Especially the Aunties who were prepared to buy us Costco-sized boxes of Pampers or Huggies as gifts.  In fact, one of my Aunties – who’s always been honest with me – came up to me a few weeks ago and said,

“So you REALLY want me to get you cloth diapers?” 

After I replied with “Yes, Auntie she said,

“I give you one week.” 

It wasn’t the first time Ben and I had gotten that response, and it definitely wasn’t the last either.  There are tons of blog posts out there focused on cloth diapering, but I’ve decided to share my reasons for choosing to cloth diaper, and how I’m navigating the cloth diapering world so far, with you as another reference.  Hopefully it offers some type of guidance. 

First off, my response to the above conversation with my Auntie was, “Did you cloth diaper?”  She said, “Yes of course, but that’s because I had my kids 30 years ago and we had no other choice.” 

To that I said, “Exactly!  There’s so much waste produced by disposables and we’ve become so lazy nowadays.  It really doesn’t take a crazy amount of effort to cloth diaper and it’s irresponsible to just keep filling the earth with rubbish.  If Ben and I start off cloth diapering, it’ll be normal to us because we’ll never know any different.  To us, there is no other choice, either.  It just is what it is.” 

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[Tell me that’s not absurd!]

Other reasons Ben and I chose cloth:

  • cloth diapers are chemical-free and better for baby’s health
  • cloth diapers are much more cost-efficient than disposables [yes, they’re an investment at first, but when you compare the two over the years, cloth wins]
  • nowadays they make cloth diapering really easy – there aren’t even pins involved anymore! 

For those of you who get grossed out thinking about touching baby poo, I’m betting you’ll get over that pretty quickly once you have a kid.  It’s truly not that bad.  Plus, whether you like it or not, you’ll be touching your baby’s poo. 

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Okay, so Ben and I decided long ago that we’d be cloth diapering – and we’ve always been excited about it! – but the actual process of figuring out which cloth diapers to purchase was definitely overwhelming and daunting.  It’s wonderful to have so much selection out there, but when it comes down to it, I truly feel like it’s all going to come down to personal preference and be trial-and-error. 

Personally, I feel that the most valuable resources I have are other Mamas, so I sought the guidance of the Mamas I knew to be cloth diapering to see what they thought worked best.  I scoured my fellow bloggers’ sites for details, sat down with a few friends with kids to see how the diapers fit them, and asked for support on the local Facebook Mom’s group:

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I really appreciated the advice of others and was able to get a good list of brands I was interested in.  Then I decided the best idea would be to order a bunch of different brands and see which works best for our little one.  Once we get to test them out, we can order more of the ones that work best for us. 

As of now, here’s what we’ve got:

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We got a dozen old-school pre-fold diapers with a pack of Snappis, and also a Thirsties duo-cover because we hear great things about them being durable and easy to care for [you can just rinse them with water and they dry super quickly].  Putting on the Snappis seems to be the simple, but it definitely takes more effort than the pocket diapers, so I think we’ll stick to these diapers during the day so that we don’t have to think so much during the dark hours. 

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For pocket diapers, we’ve got two Bum Genius 4.0 with snaps [not pictured] and six Charlie Bananas with snaps.  Snaps are said to last longer than velcro for cloth diapers, so we made our main investment in them.  To make the investment last longer, we decided to go with one-size for as many of our cloth diapers as possible. 

Also, just to show you, pocket diapers have thick cotton inserts that need to be stuffed in and taken out of the actual lining of the diaper. 

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Because we also want to try velcro [to compare and also for quicker changes], we got three more one-size Bum-genius in velcro.  I’m interested to see how the velcro holds up and also to see if these fit better/worse than the snap-fitted diapers. 

As you can see, we’ve currently got almost two-dozen cloth diapers, which I hear is a good number as I plan to have a container for soiled diapers and wash a load of every other day or so.  We do have a few disposable diapers just in case the baby is too small to fit into the cloth diapers to begin with, but we don’t envision having to use them for very long, if at all. 

81OlYSWw8mL._AA1500_ Aside from the diapers themselves, Ben and I were gifted two diaper bags to place soiled diapers in.  They both look the same, but one is a wet bag and the other is a wet/dry diaper bag by Planetwise.

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And for wipes, we ordered three dozen unbleached flannel wipes from Amazon.  We plan on making our own wipe solution [so easy!  You can check out DIY Mommy’s site for examples] and leaving it in an airtight container with or without the wipes.  When we need them, we’ll simply wring out the excess liquid. 

Ben and I feel prepared, and it truly doesn’t seem as difficult as some people make it out to be.  Of course, everything seems simple and straight-forward in theory; we’ll see how it all plays out in practice once the little one is here. 

How do you feel about cloth diapering?  Or diapering in general?

Let me know if there are any questions/concerns that you might have, or if you have any tips for me!


Aloha Pumehana.
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10 thoughts on “Choosing Cloth

  1. dirtyrottenparenting says:

    I did cloth diapers with my first. It worked out well as we had our washing machine in the guest bath on the main floor. We bought a sprayer that could be attached to the toilet to spray off the poop (lots of poop that needs to be sprayed). The velcro on our bum genious diapers were good for about a year and declined quickly after that. When child 2 came around we were in a house under renovations and the washing machine was in the basement dungeon. We started out cloth diapering again but lasted about a month.

    You spend A LOT of time doing laundry when you have small children and A LOT MORE when you use cloth diapers. The one drawback (not including time spent) would be the impact of so much laundry detergent on the environment and the power used in your machines.

    All the best!

  2. DIana says:

    We used Bum genius with Elijah and Isaiah. I was gifted the velcro ones which have held up great. Occasionally I have to “comb” out the hook part because it tends to collect hair and strings during washing, also Isaiah has quickly learned how to pull them off. I think the snaps might be more secure in this area, but as long as he has on pants or shorts over the diaper, it stays on. One really useful accessory to cloth diapering is the hose attachment that you hook up to the toilet. I think they sell it on the bum genius website. It’s easy to install and it makes cleaning the poop diapers that much easier. All the waste goes right down the toilet. I have lived with it, and without, but it truly is helpful. Cloth diapering is not as difficult as some may believe, and good for you guys for giving it a go! For us it was always useful to have a pack of disposables just in case the wash wasn’t able to get done in time. Also, a splash of white vinegar in the wash takes any stink right out.

  3. Sanoe Kaaihue says:

    Im glad you guys are using cloth diapers…and I give you guys a lot of credit. My mom was giving me the run down of cloth diapers because she used them with me. She said it wasnt a big deal because thats all they had and it was just normal to them. Glad we bought a bunch for you guys 🙂

  4. Tonja says:

    Cloth Diapering is very easy once you get your own flow. I was so proud to wash and hang my diapers to dry on our lanai. Let me know if you have any questions. You’ll also be amazed at how much money you’ll safe too. I’m still blown away every time I got to Costco and look at a box of diapers. I CD for 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 of that was 2 children at the same time. Also, love save the landfill from some extra not needed trash. Have you seen the movie Bag It? The whole time I watched the movie I was thinking how many diapers around the world are piling up in landfills and nobody knows how long they’re going to take to degrate.

  5. Danielle says:

    We totally support your decision and think it’s awesome! We can’t give good advice since we don’t have keikis yet, but will enjoy hearing about the experience. We were wondering how you clean them prior to washing them? It sounds like you get rid of the poop in the toilet first? And when you think of the (great) impact you are having on the environment by not filling up the landfills, I think that overpowers the cons of using detergent and electricity. There are recipes to make your own laundry detergent, and you could always hang them up outside since you are in sunny Hawai’i 🙂

  6. Angela @ The Chicken Scoop says:

    Huge thumbs up here! I’m all about the green stuff and I try to limit my waste as much as possible. I have to tell you, when Rob and I were considering kids (but nature had other plans and then we changed our minds), we were all about the clothe diapers too so I totally approve your decision and wow you did your research! One of my close friends did clothe too and I think she was good with it. Like you said, if you know no different, then its normal!
    ~Ang

  7. lovelylici1986 says:

    I haven’t had any babies yet, but I’m all for cloth diapering! My cousin used cloth diapers for her baby because he did not have a good reaction to disposables. I thought it would be difficult, but I had no probably changing his diapers. And she used the REALLY old school ones. The cloth diaper with pins. If I can do that, you can definitely make the fancy ones work. The only thing I was concerned about was that plastic cover thing you put over the cloth diaper. It doesn’t look like it’s very comfortable for baby. He didn’t seem to mind it though.

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